Sunday, October 14, 2012

VMF -Chopped Brunch challange!

To make up for my lack of Mofo posting, I decided to enter the MoFo chopped challenge , I've never done this before, but had a blast and hopefully you think this looks yummy!

So here's the challenge - make a brunch item that includes these four ingredients: Butternut Squash, popcorn, fresh rosemary and apricot preserves.

French toast immediately came to mind, as I've been craving it for awhile now.
My idea was simple yet a little different, but it came together easily and was much tastier then I was hoping for. Modesty is not my forte and this french toast was flippin' delicious, and I'd make it again anytime!

Butternut squash french toast, coated in popcorn, crisped up in earth balance and coconut oil, then drizzled with rosemary infused apricot preserve syrup. Then I topped it off with some coconut whipped cream!


French Toast batter

-1 cup butternut squash puree
-1 cup non dairy milk
-1/4 cup flour (I'm sure cornstarch would work just as well)
-1 tsp energy egg replacer
-2 tsp vanilla

 I just stuck all the ingredients in measuring cup and then blended it till it was completely smooth.
Soak 4- 6 small slices of bread in the french toast batter for a few hours, I did it over night since I had a crusty bread that was dense and needed awhile to soak, I'm sure 1-2 hours would be long enough if your bread is fluffier/lighter.

Rosemary Apricot syrup

1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup water
1/2 finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 cups plain popped popcorn whirred in the food processor till it's pretty fine.

-Warm up a non-stick saute pan (I use a non-stick earth chef pan) add a little coconut oil to the pan. Set the heat to medium, add the soaked bread, don't flip until the face up side starts to look a little cooked, the peak every once in awhile till it's got good color on it.

Brush the bread with the apricot syrup, then coat in the crushed popcorn. Wipe your pan down really well, then add 1/2 tsp of  both earth balance and coconut oil. Then cook in the earth balance mixture till the popcorn gets a light golden color, then flip and repeat.

Serve with the syrup and your choice of a whipped cream topping, - the whipped cream tied it together really well. I found that the level of sweetness was perfect without any sugar to the syrup (aside what was already in the preserves to begin with).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegan MoFo - Preserving summer! What to do with all those tomatoes

Happy Vegan Mofo everyone!
I absolutely LOVE summer and hate seeing it disappear, but I do love fall and the canning season. Every year I have been canning more and more stuff every year.
I have canned 4 different kind of salsa's this year.
One thing I have to confess is that I think people who boil then peel their tomatoes, (some recipes even call for seeding your tomatoes- who the hell has time for that!?) are flipping crazy- I could never muster the patience to do that! I also bough a big bag of pre-peeled garlic cloves to make easier work of the canning process.

If you've never canned before here is a very basic tutorial for how to safely can:

Have your jar's clean and sterilized before you begin, I like to run them on their own through the dishwasher for a cycle and then their waiting in the dishwasher when I'm ready to start filling the jars.

This is by far the simplest and tastiest salsa I've ever made!

This should make around 8 x 500ml jars.

Very fresh, summery medium heat salsa

2 cups diced yellow onions
3 cups diced bell peppers
3 finely diced jalapeno peppers- (more or less depending on how spicy you like your salsa)

 2 cups white vinegar
1 TBSP cane sugar
2 TSP sea salt
16 cups  diced roma tomatoes
1 cup chopped cilantro


1. Dry saute first three ingredients till just tender, add a little water if it starts to stick.
2. Add vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pot, then add the rest of the ingredients - except the cilantro, lightly simmer for about 5 mins, then add the cilantro.
3.Your ready to fill the jars, once their all filled - don't forget to wipe the rims!
4.Follow the directions on the link above for a simple water bath canning if you've never canned before.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chesnuts roasting on an open fire.....

One thing that I have to have during the Holiday season is roasted chestnuts. So simple, but such a delicious and nutritious Holiday snack or even a great appetizer.
The trick to getting perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and tender in the inside is a technique I perfected this year.
First you have to put cuts into them to allow the steam to escape and the salted water to permeate them (next step). I find the best way and the least likely way to cut yourself- I've figured all the ways NOT to do this, and then figured out a way to do that allows me to indulge in chestnuts with all my fingers still attached.

Step 1.
Wash your chestnuts in a little soapy water or vinegar, then rinse well and pat dry., lay them out on the damp cloth that you just dried the chestnuts off with.

Step 2. Lay the chestnut on the flat side down, take your chefs knife in one hand and keep the other one far away, and just tap the middle part of the knife into the chestnut, just hard enough to break into the shell. Cut all the chestnuts in the same way. I've never been able to cut "x"s into them (like most instructions will tell you) without cutting myself, so I came up with this simpler way.

Step 3.  Put about 2 litres of water in a pot, add 2TBSP both salt and sugar. Bring the water to a boil and add the Chestnuts. Preheat oven to °400.

Step 4. Boil for 15 mins, then drain very well, place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for anywhere approximately 15 mins- they will split open quite a bit when they are ready.

Let cool for a few minutes and peel back the skins and enjoy! My favorite way to eat them is with a glass of Homemade vegan Baileys- Try my recipe here: Vegan Baileys Recipe
Here is what they look like when they are ready to eat:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vegan Baileys Recipe!

For the past 4 years now, I've tried many different recipes for Vegan Baileys. Some my own creation's, some a combination of my own and other peoples. None of them ever turned out. Something was always missing, or something just wasn't quite right. This year I've nailed it! Granted it's been awhile since I've tasted the real thing, but this is smooth, silky, creamy and absolutely delicious! So who gives a crap as to whether it is a perfect comparison! This is delicious, and it'll make your Christmas magical I promise! You have to make this will make your Holidays feel so much more complete!

On Ice

                                                                       In Coffee
2 cans (400ml can- I used Thai Kitchen) + 3 tbsp coconut milk
2 cans* soymilk
1/4 cup strong coffee
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup white sugar (or 1/8 tsp powdered stevia- which is what I used)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 can* good Whiskey
1/2 can* good white rum

*I used the empty coconut milk cans to measure out everything as it was easier then getting measuring cups dirty!

Combine everything but the booze in a pot on the stove, and whisk over medium heat till everything becomes smooth and thoroughly combined. Once everything is mixed, wait till it cools a bit then stir in the alcohol.

***This makes 2.5L (I'm sure this recipe could be halved or quartered, but why would anyone want less of this goodness??)  and will keep for 2 months or more in the fridge. It will gain a but of a curdled appearance and look spoiled in the fridge after awhile, but a simple shake will make it look normal again. The curdling is normal and doesn't change the taste or quality of it at all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leibster Award!

Thanks so much to Jen from Vegan in The sticks for receiving the Liebster blog award!  You should really check her blog out, super sweet and living out in the sticks, she needs all the vegan love she can get!

I am honored to say the least! I now can happily pass on this award to 5 other well deserving blogs!

The Liebster Blog Awards Rules run as follows:

1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them. (Thank you, Jen!)

2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. (Keep reading for five of my picks!)

3. Post the award on your blog. (With honor!)

4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the web! (And you people are wonderful! Thank you for reading!)

1. There's a Hippie in my Kitchen. My "real-life" friend and also the first Vegan I actually met in person! Her awesome blog, shines with her goofy personality and tales of troublesome children. With a splash of good food thrown in for good measure! And also because I love the name of her blog!

2. Food Snobbery is My Hobbery someone who shares my love of canning and gardening and takes it whole new extremes! And to not forget the awesome recipes!

3. Meet the Shannons A fun quirky blog, in which the once thought of "unveganizable" becomes veganized!

4.Vegan Dad A super Vegan Dad that seems to do it all, and his recipes look fantastic! Not to mention it's awesome to see vegan men out there.

5. Maple Spice Pretty pictures and such a cute blog, yummy recipes and so many beautiful desserts I feel my ass widening every time I enjoy looking at dessert pictures to much.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jack o'lantern chocolate mousse pie, gory, ooey gooey pizza intestines!

Jack o' lantern chocolate mousse pie!
Chocolate pie crust:
-1 cup white unbleached flour
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-1/3 cup melted EB
-2 tbsp ground flax seed
-1/4 cup silken tofu puree
-2tbsp very strong coffee
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp white vinegar

*Put all ingredients into the food processor and lightly pulse till dough is formed.
*Use extra dough scraps to make a jack o' lantern face and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The smaller pieces bake quicken, so take then out sooner and keep a close watch.
*Roll out very thinly and line a pie shell, then bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until crust is firm. While pie dough is baking, make the chocolate filling.

Chocolate Silk filling:
- 2 tbsp agar flakes
-1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
 - 2/3 cup melted 54% vegan dark chocolate
- 2/3 cup of coconut milk fat (from a chilled can, no water)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup + 2tbsp pureed extra firm mori tofu (could be made with another type of silken tofu, just squeeze extra water out out it)
- 1/2 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract

*-Soak Agar in coffee and for a few minutes to soften then boil till dissolved, blend till fully emulsified and all agar is completely dissolved.
- Add back into saucepan, add cocoa powder and whisk till all lumps are gone.
- Add coconut milk, and sugar, lightly simmer and whisk till all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add chocolate and again stir till combined and smooth.
- Pour saucepan contents into the blender, add coconut oil, tofu puree and vanilla extract.
-Blend until smooth and emulsified, pour right away into cooked and cooled pie/cookie shell.

Sweet potato coconut mousse 

-2/3 cup sweet potato puree (from steamed sweet potatoes)
-2/3 cup coconut milk from a room temperature shaken can.
-1tbsp agar flakes
-1tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup silken tofu puree
-1/2 cup sugar
-2tbsp coconut oil

*I started with my blender and then had to move onto a food processor as the mixture was to thick.
-Soak agar flakes in the coconut milk, till softened then simmer till agar begins to dissolve then blend till agar is completely dissolved.
-Add sugar, blend again, till dissolved.
-Pour liquid back into saucepan: add sweet potato puree, coconut milk and silken tofu
-Slowly heat till warmed through, pour back into food processor, then add vanilla extract and coconut oil, blend again till smooth. Inside food porn shots!

Gorey, gooey vegan pizza intestine to spook your friends on Halloween!

-3 cups white unbleached flour
-1 tsp instant yeast
-1 tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingredient's in a bowl, then slowly add enough water to water to form dough 1/3 cup cheddar daiya, 1/3 cup mozzarella daiya, 1/2 a pack of yves veggie pepperoni, chop the rounds in half. 1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce.
  Let the dough rest for about 10 mins (we don't want it to rise or it'll puff up and will not look very "intestine"- like. Roll out very long and thin like this: it needs to be over 3 feet long. Do it on a well floured surface.
Put daiya cheese on first, then add the pepperoni, top with sauce. Just like this:
Brush a little water all along the edges, flip over the ends. roll into a log and pinch the edges till sealed.

Brush oil on lined pan, plus coat with flour. Form into an "intestine" shape as shown: on the lined pan.
Brush with water, then oil. If there are not a few crack's in the dough to begin with, make a few small cuts so the sauce will leak a little, makes it look more gory! Bake till golden and crispy about 1/2 an hour, in a per-heated over at 350° It should look like this:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegan Brie, pear and bacon panini. Vegan Mofo

I know this is a weird combination of ingredients and flavors, but somehow they really work together and compliment each other very well.
Grilled pear and "Brie' and veggie bacon Panini: Makes enough for two good sized sandwiches.


1/2 cup mozzarella daiya
3 tbsp cream cheese or cultured creamy cashew cheese
2 tbsp finely grated blue sheese

 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/3 cup coarsely chopped up toasted walnuts

2 underipe (they grill better when firmer) pears thinly sliced, grilled till just tender
2  slices of veggie bacon fried up in a little sesame oil

8 roasted garlic cloves, mashed and and spread onto one side of the bread

Brush  sliced bread  with just enough melted earth balance to lightly coat, I used a ciabatta demi- baguette, any crusty bread would work well I'm sure. Grill the insides of the bread, till lightly toasted and crunchy.

Spread Brie on the side of bread that doesn't have the roasted garlic.
Layer the veggie bacon, and pears onto the bread, put the top on, brush melted earth balance on top sides of the bread, sandwich together. Place panini on grill pan,  put a heavy pan on top, press the bread into the the pan and cook for about 2-3 mins per side, till bread is toasty and cheese is melty.
Up close food porn shot!